Print Friendly, PDF & Email

14 MAY, 2017 (MAINS)



Q1. Why does Carvaka not believe in the validity of inference? What logic do they give for their belief? (2012/15/200 words)


Please write the answer in comments section

  • Ashish

    Charvaka recognises that perception is the only pramana or dependable source of valid knowledge and therefore he rejects everything which cannot be perceived. This is the reason he even didn’t believe in God and Soul.
    Etymologically, Inference indicate after knowledge. Here, we proceed from known to unknown i.e. we proceed from perceived hetu to unperceived sadhya. Inference depends on invariable, unconditional, concomitance relation b/w hetu and sadhya. This relation is called Vyapti. Without vyapti, inference is not possible. Therefore, Charvaka challenges the vyapti in order to invalidate inference.
    Charvaka says that inference would be acceptable if we can establish vyapti beyong doubt in all the cases of smoke and fire, which is not possible. He says that vyapti cannot be established in any way as we cannot perceive all the cases of smoke and fire. Further, fire which gives smoke today, may not give it in future.

    1. If inference is invalid because sometimes it goes wrong, similarly the perception also goes wrong in the case of illusion and hallucination. So, on the same ground perception also becomes invalid.
    2. In the process of refuting the transcendental entities Charvaka himself takes help of inference. When Charvaka unable to perceive those objects then he infers the non-existence of those entities.

  • Bubbly

    In his epistemology, Charvaka recognises perception is the only pramana or dependable source of knowledge. It rejects all other sources of valid knowledge such as inference ,comparison, verbal testimony etc. as follows-
    • Inference is based on vyapti, which cannot be established, hence Carvakas rejects inference.
    • verbal testimony of reliable person is also based on inference.
    • According to Carvakas, we get knowledge of similarity through perception itself, hence there is no need to accept comparison.

    Carvakas materialism
    Since matter are the only objects whose existence can be perceived and whose reality can be asserted, hence Carvakas establishes materialism.

    Rejection of soul and God
    The Carvakas donot believe in God soul, the life after death, heaven, law of Karma etc. Because these cannot be perceived.
    According to them soul is a byproduct of matter. It is the quality of the body. We donot perceive any soul; we perceive only the body in a conscious state. Just as liver secretes bile juice, four perceptible elements – earth,water, fire, air, combines together in a particular proportion to give rise to consciousness. Living beings are born of them and they merge into them after death. They do not accept God as the creator, sustainer sand destroyer of the world because He is non-existent and non-perceptible.

    Hence, Carvakas metaphysics evolves out of its epistemology that ” what can be perceived alone is real “.

    • Sandeep Bagchi

      Is it necessary to write criticism when it was not ask in the question??